In this paired interview, which was not done at the same time or planned this way at the start, we came upon a perfect common bond between a couple of performance boat enthusiasts who have never met, but hope to do so in due time. Both Yves Belanger, who is originally from Montreal and now lives in Heathrow, Fla., and owns Gibson Truck World in Sanford, Fla., and Alex Pratt, who splits time between his hometown of Clearwater, Fla., and his other residence in Saint Joseph, Mich., where he heads up sales for Pratt Industries, a large custom trailer company, in nearby Bridgman, had catamarans on display during the 2020 Miami International Boat Show in February. Only Pratt, who has owned a laundry list of boats from Cigarette, Nor-Tech, Outerlimits and now MTI, didn’t own his during the show.
Pratt picked up the breathtaking 48-foot catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines from New York’s Johnny O’Loughlin, a longtime MTI customer, following the show, where the boat was on display and available for demo at the Mercury Racing docks. He proceeded to use it in March for the MTI Owners Fun Run in the Florida Keys and then in early May at the Performance Boat Center Spring Fun Run on Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.
Belanger, whose new Skater Powerboats 438 catamaran also powered by twin Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines brought a lot of attention to the Douglas, Mich., company’s booth, has used his boat several times since the show, but not as often as he’d like because of the COVID-19 pandemic shelter-in-place restrictions and the fact that he keeps the boat at TNT Custom Marine so he has to head to Miami, where he owns a second home, to run it.
We caught up with Belanger, 45, and Pratt, 25, to talk about their show-stopping boats and find out a little more about them.
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